Saturday morning I ran the Akron Half Marathon. This was my second time running this race, so I had some idea of what the course was like. I lined up with the 9:10 min / mile group and waited for the start. It was a great day for a long run - about 60 degrees and mostly sunny. Well, at the 7 am start it was still a little dark, but the full moon was a great touch. After the gun, we slowly moved forward and eventually crossed the starting line about 4 1/2 minutes after the first runners. It was soooo crowded that I very quickly wished I had lined up closer to the front with faster runners. I didn't want to dodge people, so I pretty much stayed in the middle of a pack for the first mile.
Mile 1 - 9:45
Eventually the crowd thinned a bit and I was able to pick up the pace.
2 - 9:21
3 - 9:17
4 - 9:07
5 - 9:12
6 - 9:10
7 - 9:29
I started to get a little too comfortable around mile 8.
8 - 9:44
Thankfully I overheard another runner (Someone I knew even! - Thanks MN!) telling her brother in law that they should pick up the pace to make up for the uphill at the end of the race. I was happy with my overall pace at that time (9:18), but I quickly realized she was right. I needed to be running faster right then, to make up for how slow I was going to be on mile 12. I sped right up!
9 - 8:55
10 - 9:19
11 - 8:49
Then, we turned onto the towpath and began a steep climb. I was really happy that I had picked up the pace a few miles back.
12 - 9:50
Once we were up the hill, we crossed the bridge back into downtown, and I gave it everything to get to the finish line. I was confident I would beat my goal of 2:03.
Mile 13 - 8:55
Mile .1 - 0:36
FINISH TIME - 2:01:33
Pace - 9:16
Wow. Can't help but be really happy with myself. When I signed up for this race back in January, I knew it would be two weeks after my Rev3 half iron and that I would probably just run it as a "fun run" and jog slowly. I never really thought I'd end up with a half marathon PR nor did I ever think I would get that close to breaking the two hour mark. Now I have a good goal for my next half marathon!
I had fun making the clock in the picture below show my correct finishing time! :-)
Here I am after finishing and getting my medal.
After I cooled down a bit, I changed my clothes, grabbed my bike and some snacks from the van, and rode along the marathon course from the finish line out to about mile 20. It was wonderful to see the marathon runners at that point in the race, especially some of my good friends. They kept moving forward, they stayed together, they finished going 26.2 miles together. :-) They have motivated me to want to run a marathon.
So, my next goal is the whole thing; not just HALF of something, but a real, true, marathon. 26.2 miles on my feet.
I'm pretty sure I'll be going for this in the spring, and it will probably be here in NE Ohio at the Cleveland Marathon. I have a few month to decide for sure.
This year I have set a new PR for every distance that I have ever run in a race, except for the 5k. Well, I'm signed up to run the RUN-A-MUC 5k at my alma mater, Mount Union College (now a University - but we'll ignore that) on October 23. I can't imagine getting my PR on that course, but I'm sure I'll try hard!